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the mind in the nature thereof would be temperate and stayed, if the affections, as winds, did not put it into tu
mult and perturbation. 8. This subject has been investigated by Aristotle, and by the
Stoics, and in different scattered works; but the poets
and historians are the masters of the passions 246 9. Of the opposition of passions to each other.
The Origin of the Mind
24 10. Enquiries should be made of custom, exercise, habit, educa
tion, friendship, &c.
Of Custom and Habit. 11. Aristotle's error in stating too generally that those things
which are natural cannot be changed. 12. Virtues and vices consist in habits. 13. Precepts for the formation of habits. * 1. Beware that at the first a task be taken neither too
high nor too weak. + 2. Practice all things at two seasons; when the mind is
best disposed and when it is worst disposed. By the one you may gain a great step, by the other you may work out the knots and stonds of the mind, and make the middle times the more easy and pleasant. 3. Ever bear toward the contrary extreme of that to which
you are inclined. Like unto the rowing against the stream, or making a wand straight by bending him contrary to his natural crookedness.
* See Bacon's Essay “Of Nature in Men,” and “Of Custom and Education.” + Bacon's Essay “Of Nature in Man."
He that seeketh victory over his nature, let him not set himself too great, nor too small tasks; for the first will make him dejected by often failings; and the second will make him a small proceeder, though by often prevailings.
4. The mind is brought to any thing with more sweetness ;
if that whereunto we pretend be not first in the
intention, but tanquan aliud agendo. 14. Of the powers of books and studies upon the mind.
Is not the opinion of Aristotle worthy to be regarded, wherein he saith, “ That young men are no fit audilors of morul philosophy, because they are not settled from the boiling heat of their affections, nor attempered with time and experience ?”
But is it not true also, that much less young men are fit auditors of matters of policy, till they have been thoroughly seasoned in religion and morality ; lest their judgments be corrupted, and made upt to think that there are no true
differences of things, but according to utility and fortune.* 15. There should be caution lest moral instruction make men too precise, arrogant, and incompatible
251 16. The minds of all men are at some times in a more perfect,
and at other times in a more depraved state. 17. The fixation of good times
252 18. The obliteration of bad times
252 19. The golden rule of life is to chuse right ends of life, and
agreeing to virtue, and such as may be, in a reasonable sort, within our compass to attain.
As when a carver makes an image, he shapes only that part whereupon he worketh, (as if he be upon the face, that part which shall be the body is but a rude stone still, till such time as he comes to it ;) but, contrariwise, when nature makes a flower or living creature, she formeth rudiments of all the parts at one time : so in obtaining virtue by habit, while a man practiseth temperance, he doth not profit much to fortitude, nor the like; but when he dedicateth and applieth himself to good ends, look, what virtue soever the pursuit and passage towards those ends doth commend unto
• What says the morality of our universities, to this opinion?
him, he is invested of a precedent disposition to conform
himself thereunto. 20. There is a sympathy between the good of the body and of
As we divided the good of the body into health, beuuty, strength, and pleasure; so the good of the mind, inquired in rational and moral knowledges, tendeth to this, to make the mind sound, and without perturbation ; beautiful, and graced with decency; and strong and agile for all duties of life.
MAN IN SOCIETY. 1. Reasons why ethics are in some respects more difficult than politics
256 1. Morality relates to man segregate : politics to man
congregate. Cato the censor said,“ that the Romans were like sheep, for that a man might better drive a flock of them, than one of them; for in a flock, if you could get but some few to go right, the rest would follow.” 2. The object of morals is internal good; for policy ex
ternal sufficeth. 3. States are not so suddenly subverted as individuals 257
States, as great engines, move slowly, and are not so soon put out of frame : for as in Egypt the seven good years sustained the seven bad, so governments, for a time
well grounded, do bear out errours following. 2. Division of civil knowledge.
1. Conversation for comfort.
257 3. Wisdom of conversation ought not to be too much affected,
much less despised. 4. Of behaviour.
The sum of behaviour is to retain a man's own dignity, without intruding upon the liberty of others.
Behaviour seemeth to me as a garment of the mind, and to have the conditions of a garment. For it ought to be made in fashion; it ought not to be too curious; it ought to be shaped so as to set forth any good making of the mind, and hide any deformity; and above all, it ought not
to be too strait, or restrained for exercise or motion. 5. Eyils of too much attention to behaviour,
1. The danger of affectation.
1. This knowledge to the derogation of learning hath not been
collected into writing.
Of the three wisdoms which we have set down to pertuin to civil life, for wisdom of behaviour, it is by learned men for the most part despised, as an inferior to virtue, and an enemy to meditation ; for wisdom of government, they acquit themselves well when they are called to it, but that happeneth to few; but for the wisdom of business, wherein man's life is most conversant, there be no books of it, except some few scattered advertisements, that have no proportion
to the magnitude of this subject. 2. This knowledge is reducible to precept, illustrated by the proverbs of Solomon
261 3. Antient fables and parables contain information upon this subject
266 4. The proper form of writing upon this subject is discourse
upon history or examples. 5. Of discourses upon history of times, and upon lives, and
KNOWLEDGE OF THE ADVANCEMENT OF LIFE 267 6. Preliminary observations.
1. This is the wisdom of pressing a man's own fortune.
This is the knowledge “ sibi sapere:” sapere is to move from the centre to the circumference:--sibi sapere, from the circumference to the centre. 2. Many are wise for themselves, yet weak for the public.
Like ants, which are wise creatures for themselves, but very hurtful
for the garden.
Livy attributeth it to Cato the first, « in hoc viro tanto vis animi et ingenii inerat, ut quocunque loco natus esset, sibi ipse fortunam
facturus videretur." The open declaration of this is impolitic, being taken and used as spurs to industry, and not as stirrups to insolency, rather for resolution than for presumption or outward declaration, have been ever thought sound and good; and are, no question, imprinted in the greatest minds, who are so sensible of this opinion, as they can scarce contain it
within. 2. The knowledge of the advancement of life is deficient 269 3. The investigation of this subject concerns learning, both in
honour and in substance.
Pragmatical men should not go away with an opinion that learning is like a lark, that can mount, and sing, and please herself, and nothing else; but may know that she holdeth as well of the hawk, that can soar aloft, and can also descend and strike upon the
prey. It is the perfect law of inquiry of truth, “that nothing be in the globe of matter, which should not be likewise in the globe of chrystal, or form;" that is that there be not any thing in being and action, which should not be drawn
and collected into contemplation and doctrine. 4. Learning esteems the architecture of fortune as of an inferior work
270 5. This doctrine is reducible to sciencé. 6. Precepts respecting this knowledge.